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Meal Benefits

If you need an application for free or reduced meals, contact school's main office.
Meal Benefit applications can now be filled out online by clicking here. The online application form is also in Spanish.
Many applications can be processed within 1-2 days time if brought to Central Office (2601 Bransford Ave, 37204).
Applications returned to a school may take longer to process.

Click here for information on temporary meal charging.


Children need healthy meals to learn. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.25 for elementary, middle and high schools and lunch costs $2.25 for elementary and $2.50 for middle and high schools. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals which are $ .30 for breakfast and $ .40 for lunch.
  1. Do I need to fill out an application for each child? No. Complete the application to apply for free or reduced price meals. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to your student’s school.
  2. Who can get free meals? All children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free meals if your household’s gross income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
  3. Can foster children get free meals? Yes, foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income.
  4. Can homeless, runaway and migrant children get free meals? Yes, children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant qualify for free meals. If you haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call the Homeless Liaison at 259-8729 or the Migrant Coordinator at 259-8684 to see if they qualify.
  5. Who can get reduced price meals? Your children can get low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits On the Federal Eligibility Income Chart, shown on this application.
  6. Should I fill out an application if I got a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals? Please read the letter you received carefully and follow the instructions. Call the Meal Benefits Office at 615-259-8566 or 259-8573 if you have questions.
  7. My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one? Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless you received a letter stating that your child is eligible for the new school year.
  8. I get WIC. Can my children get free meals? Children in households participating in WIC may or may not be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an application.
  9. Will the information I give be checked? Yes, and we may also ask you to send written proof to verify information you state on the application.
  10. If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later? Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year if your household size goes up, income goes down, or if you start receiving SNAP or getting Families First or other benefits. If you lose your job, your children may be eligible to get free or reduced price meals.
  11. What if I disagree with the decision about my application? You should talk to school officials at 259-8573 or 259-8566. You also may ask for a hearing by writing to: Fred Carr, Chief Operating Officer, 2601 Bransford Avenue, Nashville, TN 37204.
  12. May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen? Yes, you or your children do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.
  13. Who should I include as members of my household? You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends). You must include yourself and all children living with you. If you live with other people who are economically independent (for example, people who you do not support, who do not share income with you or your children, and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do not include them.
  14. What if my income is not always the same? List the gross amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only got $900, put down that you get $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get it only sometimes. If you have lost your job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
  15. My spouse is deployed to a combat zone, is her combat pay counted as income? No, if the combat pay is received in addition to her basic pay because of her deployment and it wasn’t received before she was deployed combat pay is not counted as income. Contact the Meal Benefits Office at 259-8566 or 259-8573 if you have questions.
  16. My spouse is deployed to a combat zone. Is his combat pay counted as income? No, if the combat pay is received in addition to his basic pay because of his deployment and it wasn’t received before he was deployed, combat pay is not counted as income. Contact your school for more information.
  17. My family needs more help. Are there other programs for which we might apply? To apply for SNAP on line or to find a local assistance office, visit: http://www.tn.gov/foodstamps or call 1-866-311-4287.
If you have other questions or need help, call 615-259-8566 or 259-8573
Si necesita ayuda, por favor llame al teléfono: 615-259-8566 or 259-8573
Si vous voudriez d’aide, contactez nous au numero: 615-259-8566 or 259-8573
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